Close call for boatie after anchor catches underwater cable

submarine cable
Image: anaova /

A boatie off the waters of Bribie Island in Queensland has had a close call after his boat’s anchor caught a high-voltage underwater cable.

Bribie Island’s Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) crews rescued the yachtie by cutting the boat’s anchor chain.

The yachtie came close to damaging the high-voltage, 11,000-volt cable and, if wasn’t for the quick thinking of the VMR crew who cut the anchor chain loose, the situation could have easily turned deadly.

Ergon Energy and the VMR have joined forces urging boaties to be aware of overhead powerlines and submarine power cables crossing Queensland’s waterways.

Ergon’s Safety Advisor Kevin Hore said overhead powerlines and submarine cables crossing the state’s waterways can carry enough electricity to run entire suburbs.

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“Some of these cables and powerlines can transmit up to 132,000 volts and, if hit, can cause very serious damage to boats or even kill someone onboard instantly,” he said.

“If the worse does occur and a boatie does become hooked up on overhead powerlines or underwater cables they should keep as far away as possible from the section of boat touching the powerline or cable and call Triple Zero or radio the VMR or Coast Guard immediately.”

Bribie Island VMR Commodore Liz Radajewski said boaties should always remain aware of what is above and under their craft when sailing down all waterways.

“Those with yachts should always keep a visual for any overhead wires while sailing on rivers to ensure their masts don’t come in contact with them,” she said.

“Similarly, masts on trailer sailors should be lowered when pulling the boat up the ramp to prevent them contacting powerlines.

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“Also when dropping anchor, boat owners should always look for signs on the banks that mark the location of underwater services to ensure they don’t end up snagged on, damaging or even pulling up high voltage cables when retrieving their anchor.”

Ms Radajewski also said before any boaties head out to ensure the vessel and motor are in excellent working condition, they have more than enough fuel and right safety equipment and to use the VMR or Coast Guard’s log on and off service.

If boat owners do find themselves in difficulty of any sort they are urged to phone Triple Zero and ask for police who will dispatch the closest rescue vessel or contact their local VMR or Coast Guard via phone or two-way radio.

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